The luxury hospitality vertical is one of the most robust and vibrant element of the global economy, one that nearly stood unfazed as the rest of the world plunged in the 2009 economic downturn. Throughout the globe, major tourist destinations now feature various luxury hotels that are designed and developed in the local architectural heritage with a singular aim of providing the best customer service possible. Be it Hilton, Hyatt or Intercontinental, luxury hotel have made a name for themselves as some of the potent revered entities in the hospitality industry. Such is also the case with numerous luxury resorts and spas. However, like everything else, customers are always looking for uniqueness even among luxury hotels and resorts. This has led to an out of the box trend of floating hotel. These establishments are some of the most renowned in the world, not only for their impeccable services but also because they bring guests out the landlocked cities, out in the soothing marine environment. Many locations across the globe are now boasting of unique and quite creative floating hotels, such as the likes of the floating yacht hotel.
Offering stunning and breathtaking views of the surrounding rivers, lakes and oceans, these remarkable hospitality institutions are now rapidly growing in numbers, while capturing the attention travelers across the globe. Realizing the importance of these magnificent floating structures, here at Elite Choice, we decided to come up with our very own list of some of the most luxurious and eloquent floating hotels spread all over the world.
Location: Panama, South America
Nestled in the serene Colon Island in Panama, the Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge is well renowned for its soothing ambiance and a focus on guest privacy. This luxury lodge is comprised of nine Polynesian-style bungalows surrounded by crystal clear Caribbean water that is teeming with some of the most exotic aqua life such as spot parrotfish, giant star fish, and white spotted leopard rays. The Punta Caracol offers it guests all the comfort of modern amenities while enjoying the beauty of nature. The guest quarters at this floating lodge feature hardwood floor lounge areas as well as sofa beds and elegant curtains. This floating hotel comes with a 12V charging outlet available at the reception and restaurant, while Punta Caracol employs eco-friendly aerobic sewage treatment, thereby ensuring that no paper leaves the lodge as part of wastage. The guests can enjoy a relaxing time with kayaking and snorkeling, while the luxury lodge also offers land based adventures. The in-house restaurant at the Punta Caracol serves the guests with eclectic Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisines.
Location: Udaipur, India
Located in the heart of Rajasthan, India, Udaipur is best known for its vast range of historic palaces and lakes, as well as for its remarkable hospitality. From one of the foremost hotel chains in the world, The Oberoi, comes the magnificent Oberoi Udaivilas that offer the guests with breathtaking views of the surrounding lake and contemporary Indian architecture. The Udaivilas has been designed to instill a sense of traditional Indian palaces and features some of the most exotic design elements befitting the life of a Maharaja. The rooms at Udaivila offer the guests direct access to a semi-private swimming pools as well as outdoor dining areas. The guests are taken via a boat across the sparkling Lake Pichola to royal welcome and this luxury floating hotel also offers spa and yoga facilities. The rooms come equipped with wireless Internet access as well as 24 hours in-room dining. The guests can even spend time shopping at the in house boutique ‘Tijori’, while Udaivila also provides a vast library of movies and audio CDs for sheer entertainment. For the dining aficionados, the Oberoi Udaivilas has three enticing option. The first is ‘Udaimahal’, a restaurant that offers traditional and authentic Indian cuisines, second being ‘Suryamahal’ that serves as an all-day dining establishment. The third of the resort’s restaurants is ‘Chandni’, which serves as a dining courtyard adjoining Suryamahal. Also, this luxury floating resort features a grand bar that offers the guests with a wide range of exotic wines and spirits.
3. Bora Bora Lagoon Resort & Spa:
Location: Bora Bora, French Polynesia
The Bora Bora Lagoon Resort & Spa is by far one of the most scenic and relaxing establishments in the hospitality industry. Located in the French Polynesia, this luxury floating resort & spa comes with 76 spacious overwater bungalows and provides its guests with breathtaking view of the surrounding lagoon as well as the nearby 2,385-feet high Mount Otemanu. The most unique aspect of this marvelous resort is its glass-top coffee tables in each of the 76 bungalows that offer a unique perspective of the tropical marine life calmly existing in the waters below. A perfect getaway destination for honeymooners and romantics, the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort & Spa offers a state of the art gym & fitness center, a concierge, in Room dining, entertainment as well as a shuttle service to and from the nearby village. The guests can enjoy a wide variety of water sports such as the likes of snorkeling, scuba diving, water skiing, kayaking, glass bottom boat tours as well as parasailing etc.
Set on a coral island in the picturesque Maldives, the Soneva Gili Resort & Spa is the perfect getaway destination from the paced hustle bustle of city life. This fabulous luxury resort is composed of 40 stilted accommodations that offer the guests utmost privacy as well as a host of luxurious amenities. The villas are designed and developed from recycled materials and feature over-water sundecks, rooftops, open air bathrooms along with a personal entertainment center. The entire establishment comprises of 29 Soneva Gili Villa Suites, 8 Soneva Gili Residences and seven Soneva Gili Crusoe residences that offer enhanced privacy as they are accessible only via a boat. The guests are treated with the best spa treatments at the Six Senses Spa that comes with professional therapists and masseurs, while this excellent institution also provides an in-house ayurvedic doctor and a yoga instructor along with a steam room, chill room and sauna. The guests at the Soneva Gili Resort & Spa can enjoy laundry service, wifi, speedboats and can even request for babysitting services, meeting rooms among other personalized services. This excellent luxury resort is also well renowned for its fine dining experience that includes in-villa dining, desert island picnics, pool service and organic/herbal lunches.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Located in the serene and gorgeous wilderness of British Columbia, Canada, the King Pacific Lodge delivers the very best that a secluded retreat has to offer. Sporting luxurious lodging and accommodation, this magnificent float lodge provides its guests with spacious rooms that are high on privacy as well as various outdoor activities, to bring them closer to nature. The Spa at the King Pacific Lodge is accentuated by driftwood accents and is designed around traditional Japanese architecture. This unique spa offers the guests with various service including sauna, steam bath, plunge pool and Jacuzzi and aims at rejuvenating the body and spirit. Stepping out into the sun, the guests will be treated with guided fly-fishing trips, kayaking, ocean fishing along with various cultural programs. The rooms at the King Pacific Lodge feature king sized beds, spacious window seating areas and slate-lined bathrooms. For those who need to tend to their professional lives, this luxury lodging also provides meeting facilities such as a 34 seat meeting room, high-speed satellite-based Internet and satellite phone system among other services. At night, guests can get spectacular view of the clear open sky with naked eyes or use the lodge’s high-powered telescope that can be used for star-gazing or seeking out the native wildlife in the surrounding woods.
Location: Semporna, Malaysia
Price: On Request
Widely known as the Semporna Floating is another name of the incredibly famous Dragon Inn Floating Resort. Located in Semporna, Malaysia, this floating luxury resort combines the best of both the hospitality industry and the surrounding nature. Composed of spacious rooms that come with palm-thatched roofs and bamboo-lined walls, the Semporna Resort is the most ideal location to be in, if you plan to get some alone time away from the city life and that too in the lap of luxury. The rooms of this magnificent resort are designed specifically for couples, families and VIPs. The VIP rooms offer a lot of privacy and carry the design of a chalet, offering a breathtaking view of the surrounding ocean. The Semporna Resort offers its guests with the best of luxurious amenities including air conditioning, cable TV, heated shower and complimentary light breakfast. While staying at the Dragon Inn Floating Resort, you can engage in a variety of aquatic activities such as diving, snorkeling or simply embark on a fascinating sightseeing tour. The in-house restaurant of the Semporna Resort called, Pearl City Restaurant offers the guests with exotic and mouthwatering seafood that is prepared from freshly caught fish, shrimp, crab, lobster etc.
7. Floating & Rotating Hotel Tower
Location: Dubai, UAE.
Currently under construction, the remarkable Floating & Rotating Hotel Tower, located in Dubai is one of the world’s first floating and rotating towers that houses a hotel in it. Designed and developed by Netherlands based, Water studio, this remarkable structure will stand tall with 25 stories at an altitude of 100 meters. The entire structure will be built from glass and steel and the hotel itself will be connected to the land via a boulevard ring. The Floating & Rotating Hotel Tower will be placed on the water surface with the structure’s foundations being submerged at only 19 feet. Furthermore, the guests will be able to view new stunning scenes of Dubai as the hotel will rotate one degree every minute.
8. Conrad Maldives:
Location: Rangali Island, Maldives
Situated in the midst of the heavenly and breathtaking Rangali Island in Maldives, the Conard Maldives offers its guest with the best of hospitality and a scenery that is unforgettable. The guests arrive at this luxurious resort via a private seaplane and then embark on a luxurious stay that will satiate their appetite for luxury living and a relaxing vacation. Conrad Maldives also host the world’s first all-glass, undersea restaurant while offering its guests with the very best of rejuvenate care with the resort’s fully equipped spa. The Conrad Maldives featues a host of luxurious rooms and suites, of which the most alluring is the Deluxe Water Villa. Spread across 115 square meters, this exquisite villa offers the guests with air conditioning, flatscreen TV, four poster sized beds, high speed Internet access among other amenities. The two in-house Spas will provide the guests with special Conrad Maldives treatments, as well as naturopathy consultations, while you can carry your daily workout in the fully equipped fitness center. This luxury floating resort also cater to the guests’ entertainment needs by providing Satellite TV (HBO, CNN, ESPN), CD/DVD player and Apple iPod connector along with wifi.
Location: Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Hailed as the world’s first eco-friendly floating hotel, the incredibly popular, ReefWorld, is one of the premier destinations in Australia. Located at the Great Barrier Reef, this phenomenal establishment takes it guest on a up close and personal tour of the marine life and is also said to be the largest floating pontoon facility down under. The guests are ferried to the ReefWorld is a fully air-conditioned and luxurious catamaran. This submerged underwater world is situated inside the Hardy Reef and offers a stunning and panoramic view of the Great Barrier Reef, enabling the guests to explore the vibrant aquatic life forms such as the Queensland Groper ‘George’, measuring some 3 meters in length. The guests can opt for both land based and underwater activities, including an exciting ride in a semi-submarine that seats 50 passengers. For those thirsty for a more personal view, ReefWorld provides professional diving instructors and snorkeling tanks. Furthermore, ReefWorld also caters to diving needs of its guests by offering hygienically sealed mouthpieces, stinger suits and wet suits. To get a more enhanced and breathtaking view of the location, guests can even choose to go for a helicopter ride over the Heart Reef that has gotten its name from its heart shaped form factor. ReefWorld provides its esteemed guests with a full underwater spa, eight submerged bedrooms, glass-walled bathrooms and a research facility. This remarkable eco-friendly floating is full self-sustained and is able to generate the necessary heat and electricity by employing turbines, solar panels and underwater trickle-charge generators.
A truest testament to the floating hotel trend, the River Kwai Jungle Rafts is one of the most popular floating hotels in the world and this luxury resort is constantly in motion, floating over the world renowned River Kwai. The River Kwai Jungle Rafts offers the guests the most serene and unforgettable natural relaxation experience, by removing almost all urban and technological amenities from its list, even electricity. The guests will be able to enjoy the peace and serenity of the surrounding mountain ranges and vegetation while sitting in their floating bamboo raft rooms. These exquisite guest rooms feature international standard toiletries as well as double and twin beds. Each of these floating rooms is 28 sq. meter in size and make use of wicker lamps for illumination. The interiors are adorned by wooden furniture and bamboo weave walls, while the entire River Kwai Jungle Rafts program is focused and inspired from the indigenous Mon people, an ethnic group from Myanmar (Burma). The River Kwai Jungle Rafts is designed like a trailer and feature two restaurant rafts, along with two lounge and bar rafts. This magnificent luxury hotel offers its guests with services such as sightseeing, a welcome herbal drink, medical assistance and for entertainment, the guests are treated to Mon cultural dance that takes place on two theater rafts.